The Land Rover series I, II, and III (commonly referred to as series Land Rovers, to distinguish them from later models), or simply the Land-Rover, are compact British off-road vehicles, produced by the Rover Company since 1948, and later by British Leyland.
Though unapologetically inspired by the World War II jeep, the Land Rover immediately distinguished itself from all other cars. From launch, it was the first mass-produced civilian four-wheel drive car with doors on it, and an available hard roof. Contrary to conventional car and truck chassis, it used a sturdier fully box-welded frame. Furthermore, due to post-war steel shortage, and aluminium surplus, Land Rovers received non-rusting aluminium alloy bodies, favouring their longevity. In 1992, Land Rover claimed that 70% of all the vehicles they had built were still in use.
Most series models feature leaf-spring suspension with selectable two or four-wheel drive (4WD), however series I's produced between 1948 and mid-1951 had constant 4WD via a freewheel mechanism, and the Stage 1 V8 version of the series III featured permanent 4WD. All three models could be started with a front hand crank and had the option of front & rear power takeoffs for accessories.
After adding a long wheelbase model in 1954, Land Rover also offered the world's first four / five door, 4WD off-road station wagon in 1956. Series Land Rovers and Defenders continually excelled in space utilization, offering (optional) three abreast seating in the seating rows with doors, and troop seating in the rear, resulting in up to seven seats in the SWB, and up to ten seats in the LWB models, exceeding the capacity of most minivans, when comparing vehicles of the same length.